THE demand for cold storage facilities from the roll-out of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines and the rise of e-commerce during the pandemic is seen to drive up the logistics sector for the next 10 years, a real estate services firm said on Thursday.

“Rising cold storage and growing e-commerce landscape would drive take-up upwards… We anticipate that more interest would be in the logistics sector, (and this) would further drive the market moving forward,” JLL Manila’s Head of Research & Consulting Janlo delos Reyes said during a briefing on Thursday.

Data from JLL showed that logistics, driven by cold storage demand and the growth of e-commerce, would bring in gross leasable area of 3.5 million square meters (sq.m) by 2030, up from 1.5 million sq.m in 2020.

In JLL’s previous outlook in August, the real estate services provider said that addressing the increasing demand for better facilities in the country’s logistics space could translate to around 160,000 sq.m per annum of new demand.

“We’re also seeing a lot of diversification in the logistics space. We’re seeing an increased interest for data centers who can support this interest and take up for logistics space in the Philippines,” Mr. Delos Reyes said.

During the briefing, JLL also gave its overall outlook on residential, retail and the hospitality segments.

For the residential segment, it projected that developers would focus on existing portfolios, and undertake a limited number of project launches. It added that lease and sale markets would recover at a slower pace.

Although the retail market would see a growing presence of retailers and mall operators online, JLL said that retailers would reassess footprints and optimize margins, which would lead to a subdued demand in the sector.

For the hospitality sector, JLL said that travel restrictions in the country due to the global health emergency would prolong low occupancy levels.

Recent data from JLL showed that the influx of returning overseas Filipino workers for the holidays and the re-opening of hotels for staycations improved demand in the fourth quarter. But occupancy growth remained weak on a year-on-year basis. — Angelica Y. Yang